Original Binding, On A Copy Of Jerome's Commentary On Isaiah And Ezekiel
Medium: Ink and pigments on vellum
Bury St. Edmunds had one of the most important libraries in medieval England: a late 12th-century catalogue lists about 140 volumes, of which a few dozen survive today. The really exceptional feature that makes this volume stand out from most other 12th-century manuscripts--whether from Bury or elsewhere--is that it retains its original binding, almost completely intact. It allows us a rare chance to see for ourselves what such a book would have looked like to its original 12th-century readers.
The spine has semi-circular tabs at each end, with coloured sewing, and is inscribed with a list of the contents and the press-mark; part of the chain by which the book would have been attached to its shelves is also preserved.